Big Shakeups on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award List

Change is afoot, but maybe not the right kind

Mirazur was named 2019's best restaurant in the world
Mirazur was named 2019's best restaurant in the world

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards have named 2019’s honorees, and while some things have changed, others have unfortunately remained more or less the same.

Coming in at number one this year was chef Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur in Menton, France. The restaurant made its first appearance on the prestigious list back in 2009, and has spent the past decade climbing its way to the top on the benefit of its seasonal mediterranean cuisine and French Riviera views.

However, as the Washington Post noted, the newly crowned best restaurant in the world may not owe the honor entirely to its caviar cream and standout squab. Colagreco and his team may have certain changes to this year’s ranking system to thank, in part, for their rise to the top. This year, previous chart-toppers of the 50 Best awards were removed from consideration and honored with a spot in a separate “Best of the Best” hall of fame. Former 50 Best mainstays missing from this year’s ranking include last year’s winner, Osteria Francesca, along with other former number-ones like New York’s Eleven Madison Park and five-time first-place winner El Bulli.

Along with the new criteria excluding previous winners from consideration, 50 Best also revamped its voting academy. In an attempt to assemble a more diverse panel of judges, 50 Best said this year’s team of 1,040 chefs, restaurateurs and food writers included an equal number of men and women.

Compared to the new “Best of the Best” category, however, 50 Best’s changes to its voting academy didn’t appear to have as pronounced an effect on the results. While longtime critic of the award’s lack of female honorees Dominique Crenn finally cracked the top 50 — her renowned San Francisco restaurant, Atelier Crenn, came in at 35 — she was somewhat wanting for company. Few other women-led kitchens were honored with a spot, and the controversial “Best Female Chef” award remained in place. Crenn, a former “Best Female Chef” winner, has called the award “stupid,” while this year’s honoree, Daniela Soto-Innes of New York’s Cosme, perhaps somewhat pointedly accepted the honor as an opportunity to share her thoughts “not only as a chef, but as a human.”

While change was certainly afoot in this year’s ranking, it may not have been exactly the kind many were hoping to see.

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